Impact of 20,000 TEU Vessel Call on Inland Transport

Impact of a call of a 20000 TEU vessel on inland transport

Container ships of more than 20,000 TEU are operational on the Europe-Far East trade. A port call by such a mega vessel in Antwerp or Rotterdam, two of the largest container ports in Europe, has several implications. First, it typically results in an average call size of 8,000 TEU. Some 70% of that volume is gateway cargo, and the remaining 30% involves transshipment cargo. Antwerp and Rotterdam port authorities intend to evolve to an inland modal split in container transport of 40/40/20: maximum 40% by truck, minimum 40% by barge, and minimum 20% by rail. Under such a scenario, 1120 incoming and outgoing trucks, 14 averaged-sized container shuttle trains, and 12 averaged-sized barges are needed to guarantee the inward and outward distribution of the containers. Lining up all these transport vehicles would create an interrupted queue of 30km. As ship sizes increase, scale increases in land transportation are needed by deploying more and bigger barges and longer trains between seaports and inland distribution platforms.